Jane Lorand / Director

What inspires me about this work?
I’m inspired as I see people engage, feel safe and find their voice. I love to see how free people feel when the chilling impacts of both complexity and hierarchy fade. They use the critical and systemic principles to build better ideas, overcoming habits of fault-finding and self-doubt. I’m inspired by how people come to see that their colleagues are a lot smarter than they thought they were and that out of unusual group processes, better ideas emerge and become self-evident.

Jane specializes in the strategic application of Critical and Systemic Thinking methods to improve organizational performance in the complex environments Jane built an accomplished career as a tax attorney for eight years and is a business consultant, educator and entrepreneur.

Jane developed and co-founded the world’s first accredited GreenMBA program in 2000, with the mission to enable high caliber students with strong environmental and social values to learn how to transform themselves, transform business, transform the world. As Associate Professor of the GreenMBA, now at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, the focus of Jane’s work is helping the 120 business students answer the question: “How do I know if this idea is a good idea?” She developed courses in Diffusion of Innovation, Effective Meeting Design, and EcoCommerce Models.

Leveraging Critical and Systemic Thinking approaches, Jane and her Australian business partner, Bruce McKenzie pioneered the Systemic Thinking Labs in 2007. The Labs are now integral to the GreenMBA curriculum. Critical Thinking for Business Redesign and the Systemic Labs are courses that help students develop unique leadership capacities and cultivate a culture that grows rigorous, imaginative, self-correcting thinking. She has been nominated for Teacher of the Year for the university and was identified in 2010 as an Unsung Hero of the San Francisco Bay Area by KQED, the public television station for the Bay Area.

She co-authored California Leaders Under Pressure, 2008-2028, and, funded by Intel and WELL Network, facilitated the Fort Baker Leadership Summits in 2009, bringing forty leading figures from California’s industries, government, and the NGO sectors to three summits to develop a vision and guiding principles for a Sustainable Future for California.

Jane holds a juris doctor (JD) degree from Hastings College of the Law,the University of California at San Francisco. She has an MA in Education and a BA in history from UCLA. She worked for three years as the Director of Research at the Center for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University. She edited and co-authored, Critical Thinking, What Every Person Needs in a Rapidly Changing World, with Richard Paul. She is a member of the Anthroposophical Society, and a board member of the Center for Educational Renewal, a regional NGO supporting Waldorf Education and Teacher Training.